ECONOMY

Bulgaria’s EU nominee will push for equal consumer rights

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s nominee for a seat on the European Commission said on Monday she would fight to improve cross-border competition by securing equal consumer rights throughout the bloc. Meglena Kuneva wants to be seen as a «consumers’ advocate» if given the green light by the European Parliament in her bid to become the EU’s commissioner for consumer protection, she told a committee hearing to assess her ability. «I intend to reinforce consumer confidence by ensuring that all consumers have the same rights equally throughout Europe,» she said. She pointed to data that showed 71 percent of EU customers thought it would be hard to solve possible problems if they bought in another EU country. «By addressing this, we can improve cross-border competition and contribute to EU competitiveness,» she said. Kuneva, 49, Bulgaria’s minister for European affairs, said she intended to give more power and credibility to consumer organizations by asking governments to engage in a «permanent dialogue and give them the necessary funding.» Kuneva’s appearance before the parliamentary committee came after Romania’s nomination for EU multilingualism commissioner, Leonard Orban, attempted to convince lawmakers that he was the right man for the job. Both designates hope to gain approval from the assembly on December 11 before taking up their new posts on January 1 when their countries join the EU, increasing it to 27 countries.